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Making Movie History: Michael Spencer

Making Movie History: Michael Spencer

| 5 min

A young Englishman abroad, Michael Spencer was stranded in Canada when World War II began in 1939. He would make Canada his home--and help establish the country's film industry. He arrived at the NFB in 1941, starting as a cameraman and becoming a producer in 1945. While NFB Commissioner John Grierson favoured documentaries, viewing film as an educational tool, Spencer wanted to make dramatic features. He was intent on creating a domestic movie industry, independent from Hollywood, and in 1966, NFB management tasked him with devising a system of public film financing. Receptive to the plan, the federal government created the Canadian Film Development Corporation (CFDC)--precursor of Telefilm--and appointed Spencer as its first Executive Director. He occupied the post from 1968 to 1978, overseeing the production of such films as Les ordres (Brault, 1974) and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (Kotcheff, 1974).

This interview is part of Making Movie History: A Portrait in 61 Parts.

  • original idea
    Denys Desjardins
  • researcher
    Denys Desjardins
  • interviews
    Denys Desjardins
  • direction
    Denys Desjardins
  • editing
    Denys Desjardins
  • producer
    Johanne Bergeron
  • coordination
    Marion Duhaime-Morissette
  • photographic research
    Marion Duhaime-Morissette
  • rights clearances
    Claire Bourbonnais
    Sylvia Mezei
  • archives
    Yvon Larocque
    Claude Lord
  • conservation
    Richard Cournoyer
    Johanne St-Amant
  • laboratory
    Richard Cournoyer
    Johanne St-Amant
  • sweetening
    Luc Papineau
  • original music
    Luc Papineau
  • additional editing
    Babalou Hamelin
  • online editing
    Denis Gathelier
  • image treatment
    Mélanie Bouchard
  • marketing manager
    Geneviève Bérard
  • marketing assistant
    Catherine Benoît
  • studio administrator
    Sia Koukoulas
    Manon Provencher
  • production coordinator
    Hélène Regimbal
    Dominique Brunet
  • administrative assistant
    Perrine Bral
    Sophie Dupuis
    Lise Lévesque
  • technical coordinator
    Richard Cliche
  • director of the French Program
    Monique Simard


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